The Book Booth: The Pulitzer Edition


The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

Well, the big news this week in the book world was the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction or lack thereof. For the first time since 1977, no prize was given in the fiction category. Huffington Post had some of the details.

Of course, the failure to give a book award meet with consternation. Like the Oscar is for movies, the Pulitzer is for books. That is, it means sales.

As Publisher's Weekly notes, the winners in the other categores are going back to press.

Robert McCrum of the Guardian suggested that perhaps the Pulitzer committee follow the model of the British Orange Prize and expand it's shortlist.

As for myself, I think any of the nominated books would have been worthy. It would have been nice to honor the late David Foster Wallace, whose novel, Infinite Jest is proving to be a enduring modern masterpiece. I haven't read the novel yet, but Karen Russell's debut novel Swamplandai was well-reviewed and esteemed by reviewers I respect. Nor have I read Denis Johnson's Train Dreams; but I have read his early short story collection Jesus' Son. And I thought his novel Tree of Smoke, a winner of the National Book Award, one of the best novels of the past decade, if not one of the best I've ever read. He was certainly Pulitzer worthy.

Ahh, Paris! It has been far too many years since I've been there. But the darker side of Parisian life and Parisians is explored here, in a report from NPR by writer Amy Thomas.

For all the Harry Potter readers out there, you need to check out this website. Enjoy!

I grew up reading the cartoons of Jules Feiffer in the Calendar section of the LA Times. It always seemed sophisticated. And he was always funny. So it I was delighted to see he is still going strong and is planning a graphic novel, Kill My Mother, due out next year. Publisher's Weekly has the story.

Finally, SeattleTammy found this cool website. What fictional character shares your birthday. As it turns out, I have the same birthday as The Count from Sesame Street. How cool is that?

What's on your nightstand?